By Lee Chi-dong
HANOI, 28 Feb. 2019 (Yonhap)
Another round of talks between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and U.S President Donald Trump, slated for Thursday, promises to be far more complicated than their meetings a day earlier.
The first-day discussions lasted around two and a half hours at a luxury hotel in the Vietnamese capital, highlighted by a handshake, the exchange of greetings and pleasantries and a casual dinner.
On the second and last day of this week’s negotiations, the two men have to dig into the details of a proposed joint statement on the future of the denuclearization process, Pyongyang-Washington ties and efforts to establish lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula.
They are expected to meet again at the Sofitel Legend Metropole for one-one-one bargaining and an expanded session in which their aides will also take part. An exact schedule was not immediately announced.
It’s almost certain that they will sign a document to be called by media the “Hanoi Declaration.” But its wording is key amid keen attention on whether it will contain Pyongyang’s plans for concrete denuclearization steps and Washington’s reciprocal measures.
Kim is widely expected to seek to trade the shutdown of the Soviet-era Yongbyon nuclear complex for Trump’s declaration of a formal end to the 1950-53 Korean War and some sanctions relief if possible.
Speaking to reporters about the possibility of an end-of-war declaration during a meeting with Kim, Trump said, “We’ll see.”
He added he has not walked back from his pledge to denuclearize the secretive communist nation, which he described as having “tremendous economic potential.”